At the beginning of the movie Frozen, young sisters Elsa and Anna are playing. Elsa, who has ice powers, accidentally strikes her younger sister Anna in the head with a bolt of ice. Their distraught parents take the guilt-ridden Elsa and the unconscious Anna to trolls for help; the magical troll in charge informs the parents that Anna would recover and assures them that she will forget about Elsa’s ice powers but will always remember the fun.
Throughout the movie, Elsa struggles with her fear of her powers and is tarnished by life, while the more carefree Anna seeks out the fun she remembers having with her sister.
I loved this insightful movie, but this post isn’t a movie review.
This post is about fun.
My energetic six-year-old daughter always reminds me about the importance of fun. A typical child, she enjoys playing and would do so 24 hours per day if I didn’t remind her about schoolwork, straightening her room, and the need for sleep.
On the other hand, like many adults, I get weighed down by life’s daily problems. That’s the price of growing up; we become painfully serious and jaded, we lose our innocence to the heaviness of life — and we shelf the fun.
Here in the Chicago area, we recently received a nice dumping of snow. While snow is beautiful, I always wince when it falls. To me and many adults, snow means work: lots of shoveling, challenging commutes, and constantly wiping off the snow from cars. And don’t get me started about when snow melts and then a cold snap freezes it into ice!
Like most kids, Ari views snow as yet another opportunity to have fun. And she is teaching me how to enjoy the snow again. On our way back from school, she initiates snowball fights. We pelt each other with white fluff, and she chases me, eager to hit mama with snowballs. Hearing her peals of laughter and screams of delight warm my heart in the coldest of days.
Lately she’s been pushing me into snow banks. I pull her in with me. We laugh, as we lay in the snow, look skyward, and taste the falling snow flurries. We have difficulty extricating ourselves from the deep snow banks, but we just keep laughing as we stumble and keep falling backward. Ari enjoys trying to “swim” in the snow, and I am entertained. Then she gets mischievous and places pieces of snow down my pants. I scream, feigning horror. More peals of child-laughter.
So then I get this idea. I purchase a plastic toboggan so we can slide together down a nearby man-made sledding hill over the weekend. This is probably not the wisest move, I reflect, as I’m a clutz with balance problems and haven’t sledded since I was a kid. And I know I will be sore at the very least. And going at fast speeds tends to make me want to vomit. But I don’t care. I’m sliding down the hill with Ari, dammit! I so want us to have fun, I’m willing to go out of my comfort zone to do it.
But we can’t wait until the weekend to have toboggan fun. The day the toboggan arrives, Ari is in school. When we get home, we take it out for a spin (OK, several spins). I run on the snowy-icy shoveled paths pulling the rope, as Ari sits confidently on the toboggan laughing and yelling “mush, mush!” I spin the plastic “vehicle” around and run again pulling joyful Ari around, as she shouts, “faster!”
I notice our neighbors unhappily shoveling their driveways and cleaning the snow off their cars. They glare at the noisy duo tobogganing around.
But then I get an idea for more fun. My hours of shoveling had resulted in a rather large snow bank near the house. We put the toboggan on top of the “hill” and Ari gets on. I pull her gently as she gleefully goes down the mini-mountain. We do this repeatedly. When I ask if she’s having fun, Ari yells “More than fun! This is awesome!” A friend later stops by and sees the toboggan tracks on the mini-mountain and says, “It looks like you held the Winter Olympics here.”
The fun continues indoors, as well. We recently attended a princess party at a local country club. Ari (and many of the girls) dressed as Queen Elsa from Frozen. In a magnificent setting befitting princesses and queens, Ari and I danced.
Several famous royal characters showed up, including adults Princess Anna and Queen Elsa. The princesses sung on stage; Ari and the rest of the girls seemed to be in a trance. Then the royal highnesses came to the dance floor to dance with the transfixed girls, then did face painting and took photos with each girl.
Overall, this was one of the best parties I’ve attended.
Watching my daughter’s face light up while the princesses talked and sang to the audience brought me happy tears. I loved her look of wonder as she sung along with the popular songs from Frozen.
I’m grateful for all the fun Ari and I have. Sometimes adults get so weighed down by stark reality that we forget that fun is also a part of reality. And tapping into our inner child is an immeasurable gift.
How do you have fun?
Have you tapped into your inner child? If so, what types of things do you do?
Anyone have tips on tobogganing?
Tags: Elsa and Anna, Frozen, fun, fun and children, princess party, snow, snow bank, toboggan